Efforts are being stepped up by the police and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to combat an increase in thefts from sports grounds in east Kowloon by providing improved storage at the facilities. There were 162 cases of such thefts in the district involving $230,000 worth of valuables last year and 89 cases involving $170,000 in the first six months of this year. Items stolen were mainly small amounts of cash, mobile phones and personal audio devices, said Kowloon East regional crime prevention officer Detective Chief Inspector Dennis Ko Shek-cheong. 'The reason why there are so many thefts is that there are no storage facilities for many outdoor courts,' he said. After a meeting with police, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department recently completed the installation of 48 new metal cages in east Kowloon. The cages function as lockers, with users bringing their own padlocks. There are now more than 200 storage cages at 13 outdoor sporting venues.